Projects involved in
In 2012, I obtained the Degree of Doctor in Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Brussels (Belgium). My research was focused on how mangrove trees can prevail in the mangrove environment being extremely harsh for water uptake and transport. I addressed the wood anatomy and ecophysiology of trees from different species by use of different techniques among which microtomy, CT-scanning, micro-CT-scanning, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and dendrometer studies. It could be concluded that large numbers of narrow vessels are crucial for trees to survive in the mangrove forest and that the genus Avicennia is able to thrive in very extreme conditions due to the structure and functioning of its internal phloem network formed by successive cambia.
During my postdoctoral work I further specialized in the three-dimensional structure of wood by micro-CT-scanning and three-dimensional image analysis and in the role of phloem and parenchyma for trees to survive physiological drought and this in two model systems, the mangrove forest and the Mediterranean dehesa. At the moment I am working at CREAF through a EU Marie Curie IF fellowship researching the variability in phloem and xylem characteristics with environment conditions in six tree species characteristic for Catalonian forests.